Difference Between Pentium & Core i3 [What to Pick]

Written By Farhan Max

Pentium and Core i3 are the first two names that come to mind when building a low-end PC. Though there isn’t much price difference, they are built on two entirely separate architectural models.difference-between-pentium-and-core-i3

But, there are some core differences between these two processors and here I will show you the comparison between a Pentium and an i3 processor, which will help you make suitable decisions.

So without further ado, let’s jump in.

What are the Differences Between Intel Pentium & Core i3 CPUs?

Pentium and Core i3 are both processors made by Intel, but they belong to two different product lines. That’s why Intel Pentium & Core i3 CPUs have different features, capabilities, and the way they handle tasks. Also, the Pentium only has 3 MB of L3 cache, whereas core i3 has 4 MB.

Science 1993, the Pentium processor has come a long way. The Pentium Gold G7400 (launched Q1 ’22) is the latest edition in the CPU market.

Intel builds it using Lake-S architecture with Socket 1700. And with the help of Hyper-Threading technology, the Pentium Gold G7400 has 2 cores and 4 threads. It can go toe to toe with the Intel Core i3-10305.

On a side note, since Pentium CPUs are dual-core processors, you should know how well these dual-core CPUs can perform in gaming.

Anyway, in terms of preference, the Core i3 series always stood superior to the Pentium series. The latest Intel Core i3 13100 is a quad-core, 8-thread processor with a 3.40 GHz speed.

It used the Raptor Lake architecture with Socket 1700. The processor has 4 cores and 8 threads, with 12 MB L3 Cache. You can also boost the clock speed to 4.50 GHz.

This section will show some fundamental differences between Intel Pentium & Core i3 CPUs. It will help you to understand both pieces of hardware better.what-are-the-differences-between-intel-pentium-and-core-i3-cpus

Here are some differences between Intel Pentium and Core i3 processors:

1. Architecture

The Core i3 processors use the next-gen Raptor Lake architecture with Socket 1700, which ensures improved performance and power efficiency in any device.

On the other hand, the current-gen Intel Pentium uses Lake-S architecture, which is cheap but doesn’t give the best performance.

2. Platform Support

When you build or upgrade a computer, you should think about processor compatibility with the motherboard and chipset.

Intel Core i3 CPUs work well with most of the new motherboards, but Pentium processors may only work with older ones.

It can affect how easy it is to upgrade your computer in the future.

3. Cache & Core Counts

As Intel Pentium uses Lake-S architecture, it can’t include more cores than the current gen i3 processors. But how many cores does your i3 have?

Well, the latest i3 processor has a 4-core, 8-thread with 12 MB L3 cache memory. But the Pentium Gold G7400 only has a 2-core, 4-thread with 6 MB L3 cache.

4. Instruction Set

While Pentium processors support old instruction sets like SSE3, Core i3 processors support more modern ones like SSE4.1, SSE4.2, and AVX2.

5. TDP

Compared to Pentium CPUs, Core i3 processors have high TDP, which means they need more power and produce more heat. The current-gen i3 13100 has 60 W TDP, whereas the TDP of Intel Pentium Gold G7400 is only 46 W.

TDP impacts the system’s cooling needs and overall energy consumption. More TDP means the CPU needs high cooling.

6. Overclocking & Turbo Boost

The Pentium processor doesn’t support overclocking technology, but you can turbo-boost the current gen i3 processors. You can boost the Intel Core i3 13100 CPUs up to 4.50 GHz.

7. Memory & Graphics Controller

The memory and graphics controllers of the i3 and Pentium processors are different.

The i3 memory modules can run on both 1066Mhz & 1333Mhz, but the Pentium can only use 1066Mhz. If you try to run 1333Mhz with Pentium CPUs, it will work at a slower speed.

The graphics controller of the i3 works at 733Mhz, and Intel Pentium works at 533Mhz, meaning the i3 will be faster in this area as well.

As you can see, the latest Pentium processors can’t compete with the newest i3 processors. That comes to our next topic, are Pentium processors good? More importantly, are Pentium processors good for gaming?

And how well do Pentium CPUs stack up against Atom and Celeron processors?

Although the Pentium Gold G7400 can’t beat the latest gen i5, it can easily beat the 10th gen i3 processors like 10305, which cost more than it.

Pentium G7400 vs Core i3 10105: Which One Should You Choose?

As for building a budget PC, the Pentium G7400 and Intel Core i3-10105 go toe to toe with each other. As they provide similar performances in the same price range, people always get confused.

In this part, I will show you the hardware comparison between these two. It will help you to decide the better CPU for your budget machine.

Let’s see the hardware comparison between Pentium G7400 and Core i3 10105:

ComparisonIntel Pentium G7400Intel Core i3 10105
Socket TypeLGA1700, BGA1700FCLGA1200
Clock speed3.7 GHz3.7 GHz
Turbo SpeedNot SupportUp to 4.4 GHz
Physical Cores2 (Threads: 4)4 (Threads: 8)
CacheL1: 160 KB
L2: 2.5 MB
L3: 6 MB
L1: 256 KB
L2: 1.0 MB
L3: 6 MB
Max TDP46W65W
Geekbench 5, 64 bit (Single-Core)14421168
Geekbench 5, 64 bit (Multi-Core)31644501
CPU Mark67668698
Price$89.99 $102.99

As you can see, the Pentium G7400 performs better than the Core i3 10105 in single-core, but for multicore, Core i3 wins. But are Core i3 CPUs really good for gaming?

You should also check out our best $700 Gaming PC Build using the Intel Core i3 processor. You can easily play most games using this rig.

Additionally, the Core i3 10105 has more cores and threads than the Pentium G7400 with overclocking features. So Core i3 10105 will be a better choice than the Pentium G7400.


Is Intel Pentium better than the i3 10th gen?

Yes, the Intel Pentium series was always better than the i3 processor if you compare items of the price-performance ratio. The Pentium Gold G7400 is a better choice than the Intel Core i3-10305 for single-tasking.

What is the main difference between Intel Pentium and Core i3 processors?

The main difference between the two series is in their multicore performance difference and build architecture. The Pentium processor uses the superscalar design, while the Intel i3 uses Ivy Bridge architecture.

Which Intel Pentium is best?

Intel Pentium Gold G7400 is the best Pentium processor in the market.


In conclusion, the Pentium and Core i3 processors are both suitable for basic office usage like web browsing, email, etc. But the Core i3 is more efficient than the Pentium because of its more advanced architecture.

Also, the Core i3 supports hyper-threading and Turbo Boost, which allows for better multitasking. Overall, while the Pentium may be a budget-friendly option, the Core i3 is the better choice.

After reading the article, I’m sure you know the key differences between Intel Pentium and Core i3 CPUs. Comment if you need any other PC-related info. Peace!

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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